Spring Term 2016 – Class 4 are ‘Out of this world!’

Yes, this term the theme for year 3 and 4 is the space based ‘out of this world!’ This theme has coincided wonderfully with the visit to the International Space Station of British astronaut Tim Peake, the children watched him blast off into space before Christmas, a nice opener for the new theme.

On the first day back after Christmas, we were lucky enough to have ‘Explorer Dome’ come and visit us. This company specialises in creating memorable activities for children in their own inflatable dome. They recreated the night sky for us inside the dome and allowed the children to see all the constellations of the night sky. The children listened to the stories created by our ancestors to explain the patterns in the sky and used this as a basis for creating their own constellations and stories in English before half term, the results of which are now proudly on display in the class 4.

We have followed Tim Peake’s mission with interest, with both classes watching a live question and answer session with the astronaut, seeing first hand how life is incredibly different in space to here on the ground. We have looked at the history of space exploration and written about some of the early pioneers of space travel, thinking about the dangers they would have faced and how they compare to explorers from other times; were they more brave then? Who discovered more?

We have made moon buggies from Knex and used them to learn about friction and forces, creating an investigation looking at friction and how it affects distance travelled.

The sheer size of the universe has astounded both children and adults alike throughout the term, and we used the school’s outdoor space (on a rare beautiful day in January!) to measure the relative distances of the planets.

After half term we are going to look at where the planets would be if the sun were 1m in diameter and in the centre of the school hall. How far away and how big would our planet be? How far from school would Neptune be? How small would the dwarf planet Pluto be?